Arthur Elmo Murdock was born February 17, 1891, to H. Sanders and Mollie E. Dotson Murdock. He was one of nine sons born of this union. Most of his 35 years of life were spent in Grapeland.
In the early 1920’s, during the Railroad “boom” which originated with International & Great Northern Railroad in 1900 in Grapeland, Arthur Elmo Murdock saw the need for a modern restaurant, mostly because the railroad workers in the switchyard needed a place to eat and relax when they weren’t working.
Also, the farmers who brought in their cotton, needed a place to drink coffee and eat while waiting in line for their cotton to be ginned.
This prompted Elmo and his Uncle Bud Dotson to open the restaurant. Bud Dotson was reputed to make the “best chili and Irish Stew South of Fort Worth.” Among their assistants was Lewis Murdoch, a brother of Elmo who was famous around these parts for his ability of “flipping” fried eggs and flapjacks in the air and never losing them. Some “old timers” remember Lewis also discouraged anyone who felt that “fisticuffs” was the only way to settle a disagreement. These ones usually found themselves in the street “face down in the dirt.”
The restaurant was open for several years.
Arthur Elmo Murdock was a relatively young man when he died January 5, 1926, although during his short lifetime, he had a successful marriage to the lovely Antelus Skidmore Murdock. They had two daughters, Ora Sue Murdock Spence of Dallas and Loye F. Murdock English of Kennard; one son, Arthur Elmo Murdock, Jr., who followed his father in death on December 1, 1934. On January 19, 1978, Antelus, who had remarried A.E. Henderson, also died.
Arthur Elmo Murdock’s legacy lives on today in his two daughters, 8 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, and 4 great great grandchildren.